Best Dog Breeds for Children

Child and Beagle

Many parents claim to buy a dog “for the kids,” but more often than not, most parents end up buying a pooch for themselves. Even if a parent goes about the dog-buying process with the best of intentions, if they don’t adopt a kid-friendly dog, their child isn’t going to get much enjoyment out of their new family friend and vice-versa. When shopping for a dog for your little one, it is important that you do your research first and select a breed that is child-friendly. Pick out the right dog and your child will not only have the loving, protective companion you wanted for them, but also, they will learn cooperation and responsibility.

When researching the best dogs for kids, there are three major factors that you want to keep in mind:

  • Size: Though size shouldn’t be the deciding factor, it is definitely something you want to consider. Smaller dogs tend to be more excitable than larger dogs; though larger dogs are active as puppies, they generally become much more calm than their tiny counterparts as they age.
  • Temperament: Temperament refers to a dog’s personality. The best dog breeds for kids have an agreeable temperament and are calmer. As mentioned above, larger dogs tend to be calmer. Additionally, larger dogs tend to form stronger bonds quicker than smaller dogs, which make them great companions for kids.
  • Energy Level: You know your kid best, so keep their energy levels in mind when shopping for a pet for your child. If your kid is an outdoorsy, active child, shop breeds with personalities to match. However, if your kid likes to sit inside and do indoor activities no matter the weather, steer clear from breeds that require more exercise, and opt for a “lazier” breed, such as a bulldog.


Top 7 Dog Breeds for Children


Energetic, affectionate and playful, boxers are great breeds, period. However, because of their lovable and docile personality, they have become a favored dog breed for children. These dogs are people oriented, so you can be sure that they’ll stick close to your little one no matter where they go.

Boxers are extremely active so keep this in mind when shopping for a puppy for your child. That being said, they’re easily trainable and protective when necessary, which is exactly what you want in a pup for your child.


Golden, Labrador, Labradoodle… whatever you choose, retrievers are all around great dogs. Retrievers are often called Velcro dogs because once they find their human they become instantly devoted and attached. However, just because this breed becomes instantly loyal to their owner doesn’t mean that they’re not friendly with others. Retrievers can be silly and playful with anyone who is friendly towards them. However, they are also hardworking, which makes them great guide dogs and search and rescue dogs.

Retrievers are extremely active and need daily exercise, something to consider before bringing one home for your child.


Mastiffs are good-natured, love to be around people and, best of all, are gentle. With hearts that are proportionate to their size, this breed offers some of the most kid friendly dogs around. They love to be around family and, for the most part, are people friendly, but if they sense a threat, they won’t be afraid to knock an intruder to the ground.

Mastiffs are quite active as puppies but as they age they become relatively calm and docile, ideal for a growing child. However, this dog will always need daily exercise and mental stimulation, so keep this in mind when shopping for a canine for your kid.


It is every kid’s dream to own a beagle thanks to movies like the Fox and the Hound and other Disney classics. However, despite Disney’s uncanny ability to persuade any child to dream up anything, beagles really are great dogs for children. Happy-go-lucky, funny and cute, beagles are people dogs. However, they have strong personalities and so need to be able to run around to let off steam. They are also extremely inquisitive and were born and bred to hunt, which makes them easy to train but also difficult to manage, as they might bolt after a cat, squirrel or even other pooch at a moment’s notice.


Everyone loves the bulldog. Whether French, English or Teacup, black, blue, white or brindle, the bulldog is one of the most beloved dog breeds in the world. It also happens to be one of the best dogs for children.

Loveable and good-natured, there isn’t much that gets a bulldog going. Bulldogs are happy to relax with their families and play tug-of-war when they’re feeling energetic. Thanks to their tough build, bulldogs are great dogs for kids to rough-house with. However, keep in mind that while bulldogs do show bursts of energy, they are far from energetic, and much prefer to laze about than to run around at the dog park.


Lassie made the collie famous, but even before the movie was released, the Border Collie and Bearded Collie were a favored family dog. Collies are gentle and predictable breeds that don’t have many (if any) tendencies to act out. Their calm and good natured temperament are ideal for families with small children, as small children are unpredictable, which can cause even the most well-behaved dogs to act out.

Though collies are great with children, they are herding dogs. You may notice that your new family member tries to herd your little ones, which can be amusing at first but frustrating after a while. To prevent any built-up frustration between you and your pet, stop the tendency before it becomes a habit.

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter isn’t a common dog, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great family dog. The setter plays well with children and loves being around family. In fact, the setter is much like the retriever in this way and is bound to follow you everywhere you go. Though a calm and good-natured dog, the breed is known to act up when left alone.

Because dogs of this breed demonstrate high energy levels, it is a good match for energetic kids. Smart and trainable, your little ones are bound to find their new best friend in any setter you bring home.

Some Parting Thoughts

Though you may have done your research on the best dog breeds for children, every litter is different, which is why you want to interview breeders prior to selecting a dog. Some questions to ask each breeder are as follows:

  1. What type of energy level is the dog? You may want a dog that will cuddle up by your feet while you work from home, or you may want a pooch that prefers to run around with your little ones all day. Talk to each breeder about what to expect from his or her litters.
  2. Is the dog safe for all family members? Some dogs prefer men over women and vice versa, or to socialize with children as opposed to teens. Make sure that the breed you select is happy with adults, children, men and women alike. If you have other pets, make sure that the breed is okay with other animals as well.
  3. What kind of ongoing care will the dog need? Some breeds require more responsibility than others, so if you’re looking for a dog for your kids, consider their ages and capabilities. Also, consider how much work you’re willing to put forth to care for the pooch.


Talk to the Experts at CT Breeder

Cute puppy for sale with a phone numberAt CT Breeder, we sell a number of different dog breeds, each of which offers its own unique characteristics and personalities. If you’re looking for the best dog breed for your child, talk to our professional breeders about the qualities you’re looking for in a new pet. Be prepared to talk about your child’s personality as well, as it is important that it meshes well with the pup’s.

If you’re prepared to commit to a new furry family member, give CT Breeder a call to schedule an initial meet and greet today!

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